Gender discrimination happens when an employer treats an employee or job applicant differently than other employees or applicants solely on the basis of their gender or gender identity. This kind of discriminatory treatment is unlawful in all aspects of the employment relationship, from hiring, interviewing, salaries, benefits, leave, promotions, terminations and layoffs. There are a patchwork of state and federal laws in place that protect both men and women from this type of discrimination.
Gender discrimination is a civil rights violation, and it is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law protects employees from discrimination on the basis of gender and gender-related conditions including pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. The Act also prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual advance or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that impacts the victim in their workplace. There are two primary types of sexual harassment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment happens when a manager or supervisor takes advantage of their position of authority, even if it is only implied that their advances will result in some favorable aspect of the supervised individual’s employment status.
The other main type of sexual harassment is called a hostile work environment. This is when the nature of the work environment and culture intimidates an employee in such a way that he or she feels uncomfortable at the office or is unable to perform their job duties.
A number of other federal laws are in place to protect people from gender discrimination, including:
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) is one of the strongest state anti-discrimination laws in the United States. This law protects all employees working in the state from discrimination on the basis of gender, family status, marital status, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, domestic partnership status, civil union status, and more.
There are certain steps anyone can take to preserve their right to equal treatment in the workplace. First, one should consider confronting the person who is mistreating them. By putting the wrongdoer on notice, you may be able to stop the unwanted conduct without further trouble. If the situation does not improve, make an internal complaint to your Human Resources department. If the company does not ensure that your problem is resolved, the next step is to file a discrimination or harassment complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or analogous state agency.
It is critical that one files a charge with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit; this is referred to as “exhausting” your administrative remedies. If the agency issues a “right to sue” letter, then you can proceed with filing a lawsuit. Because every situation is unique, it is important to speak to an experienced Princeton employment lawyer for advice and legal counsel. Having a skilled employment discrimination lawyer on your side will ensure you meet all the legally required timelines in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
To speak to an experienced Princeton employment lawyer at the Law Offices of Thaddeus P. Mikulski Jr about gender discrimination and protections afforded by state and federal laws, call us today at 609-303-0222 to schedule a confidential consultation or contact us online.
With offices located in Pennington, New Jersey, and Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, we represent clients throughout the area, including those in Burlington County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Somerset County.